South African Open Championship 2013: Daily Leaderboard Scores and Analysis
The South African Open Championship began on Thursday, Nov. 21 from Glendower Country Club in Johannesburg, South Africa. The field for the tournament is almost always filled with a solid group of players from the European Tour.
This year's version is no exception.
Charl Schwartzel, Retief Goosen and Danny Willett are just three of the more notable names in action. Here's a look at some the tournament particulars, per Golf Monthly.
Course stats: par 72, 6,899 yards
Purse: €1,100,000 Winner: €174,350
Defending Champion: Henrik Stenson (-17)
Player to Watch: Charl Schwartzel
All eyes will be on Schwartzel early on. He is South Africa's highest-rated player and he stands a solid chance of contending in his home country. Though there are other formidable challengers in the field, a strong run by Schwartzel would be compelling.
Continue on through the slideshow to see the latest updates.
Morten Orum Madsen
Trevor Fisher Jr.
Day 1 Recap
Charl Schwartzel was the hometown player most expected to make a splash in the tournament, but Jbe Kruger is the native son tied atop the leaderboard with Marco Crespi after one round.
Both Crespi and Kruger are at seven under after firing matching 65s on Thursday. The duo holds a one-shot lead over South Africans Retief Goosen and Schwartzel, and 24-year-old Englishman Matthew Nixon.
Holes 10-18 were kind to both Crespi and Kruger. Both men were four under on the final nine holes with Crespi beginning his day at the ninth and Kruger playing traditional. Kruger was able to scramble despite missing all but one fairway off the tee.
This is a regular occurrence for him, as his driving accuracy is just 51 percent in 2013, per European Tour.com.
Crespi's route to the top of the leaderboard was in stark contrast to Kruger's. He was very accurate off the tee in nailing 12 fairways. He used that accuracy to keep himself out of danger throughout the day and to limit his need to scramble.
With so few shots separating the players on the leaderboard, just a few mistakes could cause things to look drastically different on Friday. Stay tuned for daily updates as the tournament progresses.
Day 2 Recap
Charl Schwartzel put together an excellent performance in the second round of the European Tour’s South African Open Championship, as the South Africa native finished seven-under par on the day to move into a first-place tie with Marco Crespi at 12-under.
Crespi had another great outing as well, heading into the clubhouse at five-under on the day for his second-straight solid showing at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Morten Orum Madsen—another South African star—wasn’t able to gain a share of the lead, although his six-under heading into the weekend puts him just one stroke off the lead and well in position to win this tournament on his home soil.
Christian Basson holds sole possession of fourth place ahead of the final two rounds, finishing four-under for a ten-under total. James Morrison and Jbe Kruger follow him closely behind, both tied for fifth at minus-nine.
With a five-way tie for seventh place at a very respectable eight-under, the next two days of the South African Open Championship promise to be quite exciting.
Day 3 Recap
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel entered Saturday's third round of the South African Open Championship in a first-place tie with Italy's Marco Crespi, but by virtue of a three-under round of 69, the South African star took sole possession of the lead heading into Sunday.
Saturday's round was actually Schwartzel's worst of the tournament, but it was enough to get him to 15-under on the tournament. Crespi moved into a second-place tie with Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen at 14-under. Both men are very much within striking distance of the favorite in first.
The biggest mover of the day was unquestionably South Africa's Hennie Otto. He shot the low round of the day with a seven-under 65 and now finds himself all by his lonesome in fourth place at 13-under overall.
Otto is followed by a three-golfer logjam in fifth at 11-under between Christiaan Basson, Alejandro Canizares and Andrea Pavan.
Magnus A. Carlsson of Sweden also played his way into contention on Saturday by carding a six-under round, which puts him in a three-way tie for eighth a 10-under.
There is no doubt that Schwartzel is the odds-on favorite to take the title due to the fact that he has a long track record of success and plenty of crowd support, but based on how well his competition has been playing, it's far from a guarantee.
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Day 4 Recap
Morten Orum Madsen fired a bogey-free round of 67 on Sunday to win the South African Open at Glendower Golf Club by two strokes over native contenders Jbe Kruger and Hennie Otto.
Madsen finished at 19 under par overall, and used a brilliant combination of power and precision in the final round to get it done for his first European Tour victory. The Dane hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and had five birdies without a blemish on his scorecard.
Kruger put forth a valiant effort in posting a round of 65, highlighted by a back nine in which he eagled the par-five 13th and birdied the next three holes. The 31 coming in wasn't quite enough to overtake the leader.
Just as Kruger did, Charl Schwartzel birdied Nos. 2 through 4 to start his day.
The heavily favored 54-hole leader finished in joint fourth with Marco Crespi, though, and was doomed by a triple bogey on the par-three sixth hole and a double bogey at the par-four 10th.
Even three birdies in his final eight holes couldn't bring Schwartzel back, as he settled for a one-under 71.
Otto was the 2011 winner of this event and was in the thick of contention coming down the stretch, only to be undone by a bogey at the 13th and a double bogey at the par-four 14th. That nullified his birdies on Nos. 11 through 13 and put an end to his bid for the trophy.
The round of the day belonged to Trevor Fisher Jr.—another competitor playing on his home soil.
A round of 59 seemed possible when Fisher turned in six-under 30 and birdies his first three holes on the back side, but he played the last six holes in one over par to settle for a stellar 64, finishing in ninth alone.